Friday, October 31, 2014

Our volunteer English teacher has been a wonderful gift to CEF

CEF's staff have had their last English lesson with Sharmistha and we have said our thank yous and goodbyes to her. 
She has been a wonderful gift to CEF and has been an excellent teacher for the girls, as well as their friend. Their verbal and written English has vastly improved and they had fun in the process. What a blessing for all of us!

Sharmistha is off to do her masters degree and we hope she will return and work with CEF in the future. Thank you Sharmistha from all of us at CEF!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Drawings by CEF's grade 2 and 3 students for their sponsors

The younger children in CEF's sponsorship programs aren't able to write letters yet, so some send drawings to their sponsors instead. Here are drawings from some of our grade 2 and 3 students.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This Thanksgiving please consider taking on an education sponsorship

CEF needs more sponsors to help some children stay in school. Our sponsorship program needs committed sponsors who will support the children all the way through their education.

'V' 's father fell from the roof and has severe brain damage. He no longer can do anything for himself.  The family income has dropped drastically as he can't work and mum has to look after him most of the time. 'V' needs a sponsor to keep her in school. She is in grade 4 this year and her sponsorship for the 2014-2015 year is $200.

'HT' (above) is an average grade 10 student this year. If she can complete high school she would then like to train to be a police woman.  Since dad died from cancer, mum has been struggling to cover all their costs as she has a large debt due to her husband's medical bills and more recently, large bills from her son's brain surgery. He has not recovered and may never be able to work. 

For 'HT' to stay in high school she needs a sponsor; her sponsorship for 2014-2015 is $300.

'L' is a good student, but sadly is a depressed child. She would like to stay in school and after graduation train to be a PE teacher. 'L' is in grade 9 and her sponsorship for this year is $250. 

Both mum and dad have physical injuries which limits what they can do. Between them they manage the rice farming and when dad is well enough he can do some farming or building work for others to boost their income a little.  They can cover their debt repayments and living costs, but they now find they can't afford their daughter's education costs. 

All of us at CEF hope this Thanksgiving you will choose to help a girl complete school. We will send more photos and the bio of the girl you wish to sponsor. Also we will send an annual report, photos and a letter from her to you. Our CEF children just have one sponsor each and they are told about them. If you wish to write to the child you sponsor we will translate your letters and give them. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Two grade 12 students need sponsors so they can complete high school

CEF would love to see the following two girls who are grade 12 be sponsored so they may complete their schooling. 

'N' is a lovely girl with sweet parents as well as being a good student. They can't afford to keep her in grade 12 and help with any tertiary education as they have a large debt from tertiary education for the eldest children and from surgery for dad, Now they are subsistence farmers with no other income. Dad has serious health problems due to working very hard for many years and can only do light farming work now. 

'N' would love to study 'Marketing and Administration' after completing high school, but doesn't dare dream of this due to her families situation.

To sponsor 'N', to help her complete school, her sponsorship would be $300 for this academic year (2014-2015).

'T' (below) is a serious girl as well as a good student. Her father died from cancer and mum is a farmer and can't afford to keep 'T' in school. Mum is managing to cover all other expenses, including debt repayment for the education costs for her 'T''s older sister, but education for a grade 12 student is too large a cost for her to manage on top of her other costs. Her education sponsorship for this year is $300.

If she can stay in school and graduate, then after graduation she would  would love to study 'Marketing and Administration' if she can. If she can't study this she would like to study 'Commerce'

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A precious time was had by one of CEF's sponsors with the girl she is helping to keep in school

A precious time was shared by one of CEF's sponsors with the little girl she is helping to stay in school. We appreciate how both sponsors and children want to get to know each other and express care for each other.  The child and mother traveled down from the mountains to meet the sponsor. The sponsor gave practical and useful presents and gave of herself and had a lovely time. They developed a relationship which was important to both of them. 

They chatted.

They did some drawing together.

After completing her drawing she gave it to her sponsor. 

Ready for the trip back home in the rain....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

CEF is very pleased to see two more girls sponsored thanks to Liz

A big thank you from us all at CEF for finding sponsors for these two who were very much in need of educational support.

H lives with her single mother in a poor quality matting shack and has no siblings. There are no rooms, no bathroom, just a bed to sleep on in the shack; even the land they are on is not their own. They are subsistence farmers on borrowed land. CEF is very  happy to know now they have educational support for her.
 and her two younger brothers are orphans, but are lucky enough to have the maternal grandparents looking after them along with their own children and grandchildren.  Their grandparents are struggling financially with this extra burden, so we are thrilled T now has a sponsor for her education. 

Thank you Liz!

One child CEF just interviewed yesterday already has a sponsor!

 Thanks to Susan, this little one is already sponsored although just interviewed yesterday. She is a very bright and hard working student who loves school, so we at CEF are thrilled that she can continue her schooling.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

New CEF student is able to go to university with help from the 'Alton Memorial Scholarship Fund'

We are thrilled to be in a position to say "yes" to this student who wants to go to university, as we have a new fund for university students; the 'Alton Memorial Scholarship Fund'. 

She is a deserving young lady with the right attitude.  Although she had a challenging situation with everything against her, she was still determined to have a university education, applied and was accepted and will be studying marketing. She said:Going to university is the best way to escape poverty”.

We are very grateful to have this fund which was set up for CEF by Go Philanthropic, to help our students have a way out of poverty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CEF training session with Bruce and Elaine of 'Journeys of the Heart'

'Journeys of the Heart' is one of CEF's partners. Bruce and Elaine who created JOTH to support many organizations helping the financially and physically challenged here in Vietnam, also have decades of business, business management and consultancy experience between the two of them, and generously share their knowledge and experience.

Yesterday they did a session with us at CEF on 'values'. It was a very useful, informative and thought-provoking session.

 Bruce shared how the vision, mission and values are so strongly interconnected and have a two way affect; of flowing both down and up. Our goals, objectives, plans, policies, procedures and everyday activities are affected by them and those affect our values, mission and vision. No separation at all exists when everything is working in harmony with our vision, mission and values. This is logical and obvious, but sometimes when busy carrying out our work, this can slip to the back of our minds, and during this session it became so obvious that they need to stay in the front of our minds and in our hearts all the time to help create the perfect balance.

Elaine introduced mind-mapping and we all did a mind-mapping session on each of CEF's values showing how our actions and work show whether we understand and are living the values each day in our work.

Thank you to both of you for sharing your knowledge and experience and bringing a balanced perspective. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Partners with Children's Education Foundation - Guest blog by Elaine of 'Journeys of the Heart'

Bruce and I have been volunteering in Vietnam and particularly Hoi An for about 7 years now. We call our charity Journeys of the Heart. ( We work with a few organizations that are basically grassroots, local and small NGO’s.

Children’s Education Foundation is one such organization. We are impressed with Linda’s leadership here in-country and because of our home being in Canada we are also connected to Stephen Jackal in the New York office.

When here in Vietnam we have the pleasure of working with Linda on some organizational matters and with her delightful staff in training sessions. Below is a picture of a recent meeting during which we were discussing the painful but real subject of child abuse and trafficking (always threats to girls in poverty).
  It is always a treat to do home visits with Linda. We see the evidence of the benefits of educational support for young students who may not otherwise go to school.

 We are particularly thrilled to see the excitement about the mobile library books that are now available for loan to all girls sponsored by CEF.

The girls really are careful about the choices that they make on book selection and we can see the awe over such a luxury.

The library is dear to our hearts. On the death of a dear friend, her book club wished to honor her and asked about what we thought would be an appropriate way to remember Carole…an avid reader, a former school teacher and a proud grandmother. The library was the perfect acknowledgement.

Our family, friends, neighbors, former colleagues, business associates and Bruce’s army veteran friends all have responded to the stories of our work in Vietnam with funds and often want their donations to go to CEF.

We have been able to deliver memorial funds for friends and family who want to remember a loved one has died and as a remembrance for casualties of the Vietnam war. Retired schoolteachers are very keen to support the education of children or provide books for the library. We find kind hearts at every turn of our journey and are grateful that we can be their emissaries.

Partnering with CEF has been a way for us to connect those kind hearts directly with a foundation whose integrity and purpose aligns with their desire to share their own good fortune.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book shopping for CEF's 'Mobile Library for Literacy'

Today Bruce and Elaine of 'Journey's of the Heart', myself and Ngoc had fun and went book shopping for CEF's mobile library. A donation through JOTH was made for books for our mobile library. We are very grateful for that as it has enabled us to increase our selection of books. Today we bought books on quite a variety of subjects. We mainly purchased books on animals, insects and reptiles, but also children's story books with lovely pictures and a moral to each story. We bought academic English books for our high school and tertiary students and cookbooks and a book about how to recognize and choose fresh foods for our keen cooks.

One way we can encourage reading is by taking a selection of books to the children's homes. Our mobile library is part of our 'Literacy Encouragement Program'. Our purpose is to encourage the children to read more, and hopefully learn to love reading and this opportunity of learning fascinating and useful information. We also are teaching them all to respect and care for books.

Today we also brought books to CEF children in our education program in Da Nang and they were pleased they could choose a few books to read.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CEF training session and discussion on Child Trafficking and Child Protection

The subjects of child trafficking and child protection were presented to us at CEF and discussed last night.  Bruce and Elaine of  'Journeys of the Heart' have researched this subject extensively as Bruce has been writing a book about child trafficking recently which is nearing completion.

This subject is a worldwide problem unfortunately, and is an issue we need to face here in Vietnam in the communities we work in. The presentation and discussion was very helpful and thought-provoking. The reality of it, and the ease with which a child can be trafficked, was very disturbing too. The evening session raised our awareness further and hopefully all our eyes will be more open to seeing potential problems and the children at risk.

Big thanks to Bruce and Elaine for sharing their knowledge and experience on these subjects.